So I’ve been thinking a lot about eagles. This may be a bit of a shock, but I don’t really like them. So many people admire their beauty, their magnificent wingspan, their grace……I think they’re jerks. Please, hear me out though.
How could I admire an eagle, when I think of myself as a bunny, or a squirrel? I think everyone has an animal in them. My animal is one of a hoppity nature, something energetic, something low on the food chain. Eagles are a threat. Plus, I studied loons in Glacier National Park, and eagles ruin their day rather often. Still, nature will be nature, and I don’t question her plan. Sometimes I just don’t really like it. And obviously, those that know me, know I’m the kind of person who watches that “Planet Earth” clip of the orcas surrounding the seal, and can hardly stand not to close my eyes and hope that the seal survives.
I remember in grade school, learning that Benjamin Franklin had a problem with the Eagle being our nation’s choice of representation. I agreed with him, though most of the students laughed and rolled their eyes. I’m not crazy about the wild turkey, in fact they are my arch nemesis after a rather unpleasant encounter on the Appalachian Trail. Yet, at least they have their feet on the ground, at least their aggression is of a protective nature. I mean, don’t get me wrong, if it were up to me I’d pick a bear, or a horse. Something strong but peaceful.
Last spring, on a road trip through northern California and Oregon, I noticed a reoccurring scene. I would often see a small, farm bird chasing a crow, and intensely at that. Whenever I saw it, I would say, “You show ’em, little bird.” Thinking how us little folks can still be kickass. A week or two later, we returned to Whitefish. I went for a marathon training run, a super long one…22 miles I believe. And on my loop around the outskirts, I ran by a farm, where I saw it again. A little, feisty bird chasing away that darn crow. This time, however, I was close enough to realize that the crow had one of the little bird’s babies in it’s mouth. One thing I learned in that moment, is that we see what we want to see. Another, is that life can be awfully cruel.
I’m bringing this up, because I want to clarify that I’m aware of such birds. Or course I am. Lately, a few strangers and loved ones have accused me of being too positive, unrealistic even. I think squirrels and rabbits are fully aware of Hawks and Osprey. How do you go about being a squirrel in a world with killers swooping down from the sky? You hop. You climb. You don’t miss the flower patches. For it’s better to die in the great, wide open than to live your life hiding in the trees.
My dear friends and family, thank you for your concern. I don’t need a knife, I certainly don’t need a gun, and I don’t need to be reminded that I’m vulnerable. I just need you all to sit back, and watch me go!
I feel like I owe a huge thank you to those of you who always have been that for me. Especially to my parents, who need me to survive, but never see the need to bring up the scary stuff. Thank you for believing in me.